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Keuffel & Esser Co., 39th Edition, Interim War Edition

Keuffel & Esser Co., New York City

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The offerings in this World War II vintage catalog were paltry in comparison to earlier Keuffel & Esser catalogs. At this time the majority of drafting instruments including pencils were imported from Germany so the inability of K&E to get German equipment is reflected in the pages of their catalog.

One glaring omission in the pencil section is the A.W. Faber Castell line of drawing pencils. Like many German manufacturers, A.W. Faber had established a manufactory in the US after WWI to hedge against future trade interruptions and to avoid tariffs on imported pencils. Their top-of-the-line Castell pencils, however, were made with leads imported from Germany. The company tried to keep the US supplied with leads in the early years of WWII, but by 1941 the US factory introduced the Faber-Castell “Winner” Techno-Tone drawing pencil as an alternative.